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Cytophysiology and innervation of gonadotropic cells in the pituitary of the Black Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

An electron microscopical study

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In the male black molly, Poecilia latipinna, morphological and functional aspects of the gonadotropic (GTH-)cells have been studied at the ultrastructural level. The cells exclusively occupy the ventral and lateral areas of the meso-adenohypophysis. In the black molly there is evidence of the presence of only one type of gonadotropic cell. In the GTH-cells of most specimens, the rough endoplasmic reticulum is weakly developed. The secretory vesicles are characterized by cores with varying diameters; this variation was not observed in the secretory vesicles of the other types of pituitary cells, except in the TSH-cells. After applying a histochemical method for the demonstration of polysaccharides, small black deposits appear in the core of the secretory vesicles of the GTH and TSH-cells only; this indicates the glycoproteinaceous nature of the hormones produced in these cells.

Male black mollies treated with methyl-testosterone have significantly smaller GTH-cells and a lesser number of secretory vesicles and mitochondria in these cells. GTH-cell activity in Poeciliinae may be thus influenced by androgens by means of a negative feed-back mechanism. The GTH-cells are innervated by both type A and type B neurosecretory fibres. There are indications that the type A fibres may originate from the pars lateralis cells of the nucleus lateralis tuberis; the origin of the type B fibres is uncertain.

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Correspondence to Dr. J. Peute.

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Dedicated to Professor Berta Scharrer on the occasion of her 70th birthday

The authors are indebted to Mr. L.W. van Veenendaal for preparing the drawings and the photographic lay-out, and to Dr. L. Boomgaart for correcting linguistic errors

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Peute, J., de Bruyn, M.G.A., Seldenrijk, R. et al. Cytophysiology and innervation of gonadotropic cells in the pituitary of the Black Molly (Poecilia latipinna). Cell Tissue Res. 174, 35–54 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00222149

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Key words

  • Pituitary
  • Teleost
  • GTH-cells
  • Innervation
  • Ultrastructure